Sent by Garry Aldous
Warwick 3/11/2021 9:00:00 AM
Based in Huddersfield
My name is David and I look forward to becoming your personal Travel Counsellor.
Having joined the industry straight from school, I've now ‘clocked up’ over 30 years of working on the high street.
Many people already know me in the West Yorkshire area and I now have customers all over the UK! A number of them have become personal friends over the years and they know that I believe in good old fashioned, excellent personal service and care.
At the last count, I'd visited over 50 countries, in every continent apart from Antarctica - but I'm working on that and will get there one day! That means I have lots of experience and I'm able to give you the best professional advice based on my own personal travels!
With Travel Counsellors, I'm now able to offer a truly independent travel service. I'm under no pressure from head office to sell a particular company’s products. This means I can find the best holiday for you, not for the company’s profit figures. With award winning technology and access to hundreds of reputable suppliers, I can now find the very best holiday to suit your needs.
No booking is too small. I am just as keen to book you that romantic UK break or a mini cruise to Amsterdam. As I am able to work from home, I can be available outside conventional office hours, including evenings and weekends. If I am out of the office when you call, it will be me that calls you back, there’s no need to sit in a queue to a busy call centre.
With the fantastic support of Travel Counsellors, I love running my own travel business.
I can only be successful if I do all I can to make sure that I get it right for my customers. That's why you can be sure of my best personal service at all times.
Every penny you spend with me is safe thanks to the Travel Counsellors financial trust. It offers the best financial protection in the industry and is free of charge to all our customers.
I really want to help you with your next trip, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
30 March 2013
I was pleased to be invited on this trip as a guest of the Cyprus Tourist Office. We were a party of 14 UK travel agents and we spent two nights each in Ayia Napa, Limassol and Paphos and were taken all around the island. Cyprus was a destination I hadn’t been to before, so I was really keen to learn more about the island. We arrived in the evening at Larnaca airport and soon we were on our way to Ayia Napa, where our first hotel was the Nissi Beach. I liked the Nissi Beach and my impression was that it would be a good choice for a family holiday. The hotel has very good facilities including a ‘kid’s club’. Situated just outside of Ayia Napa town, the hotel is in a lovely setting. It has beautiful grounds and the views from the front are stunning. It’s definitely worth paying the extra for a sea view here! Ayia Napa is a resort for ‘party people’ in the summer but we were there in March. The weather was very pleasantly warm and it was very quiet. It would be a good choice for couples and families wanting a winter break. We were taken to the monastery of Ayia Napa in the centre of town. It’s a little oasis of peace and tranquillity and was really pleasant to just wander around. From Ayia Napa, we moved on to Limassol, first spending some time in Larnaca where we were able to wander along the lovely promenade. In Limassol we stayed at the Amathus Beach Hotel….wow! This is such a lovely hotel and it was definitely my favourite of the three we stayed at. It’s a 5* hotel and I just couldn’t fault anything. The rooms were superb, the décor, the service. Everything was just amazing. We toured the hotel and I was especially impressed with the spa! Just wonderful and one of the best I’ve ever seen. During our stay in Limassol, we were taken for a trip into the Troodos Mountains. The scenery is magnificent there and we were taken to visit the Tsiakkis Winery. Of course we had to sample the wines, purely in the interests of research of course! We also spent some time in the pretty villages of Kakopetria and Omodhos. These are two very pretty villages, which are regular stops on tours of the region. We were able to explore the narrow streets and the numerous little shops and cafes there. Onwards to Paphos! We travelled via Petra trou Romiou, which is where legend says was the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. It’s certainly a beautiful part of the coastline and we stopped a while to take lots of photos! We had lunch at the Aphrodite Hills Resort, close to Paphos. This is an excellent 5* purpose built resort built around a superb professional golf course. There is lots to do here for the active, and there are some very attractive apartments and villas, as well as the main hotel. Paphos is lovely. We stayed at the Almyra Hotel, which is in a very good location, minutes from the harbour. It is a modern hotel with ‘minimalist’ décor and good facilities. We were taken around the harbour and on a visit to the Mosaics and the Tombs. I was particularly interested in the Mosaics, which were in the houses of the very wealthy. As you gaze at them, you can’t help but wonder what life must have been like for people in this ancient civilization. Soon it was time to head home and I left Cyprus feeling that I’d learned so much more about the island. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend hiring a car here. There is just so much to see and do and the scenery is spectacular. It’s particularly easy for holidaymakers from the UK, as they drive on the left! It was a wonderful trip and I can’t wait to go back!
07 June 2013
We arrived at Hanoi airport right on time, after a very comfortable flight with Vietnam Airlines. Our hotel was a small, family-run hotel down a back street but perfectly situated. Very close to the Old Town and Hoan Kiem Lake, it was very clean and comfortable and the staff just couldn’t do enough for us. Hoam Kiem is the ‘hub’ of the city. From there, it’s very easy to visit the main places of interest such as the Ho Chi Minh museum and his Mausoleum. We took one of the little tourist cars, which leave from the side of the lake. They trundle around the Old Town for half an hour or an hour and are inexpensive. It’s a great way to get a feel of the place without too much effort! After Hanoi, we headed south to Hoi-An for another three nights, where we stayed at the Hoi-An Pacific Hotel. We flew from Hanoi to Da Nang airport, about 20 minutes in a taxi from Hoi-An. The service on Vietnam Airlines was very good and the flight was on time. The taxi only cost us about US$15. Our first full day in Hoi-An was spent looking around the town. Hoi-An is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It’s very pretty and it’s fascinating to wander around looking at the ancient buildings, which have been perfectly preserved. There are lots of shops and some lovely restaurants where you can try the local cuisine. On the second day, we decided to take an excursion. Vietnam is now a modern, thriving nation with lots of modern development and excellent new tourist developments. Nevertheless, there are still reminders everywhere of its tragic recent history. It wouldn’t appeal to everyone but because of my interest in the history of the Vietnam War, we decided to pay a visit to My Lai, the village where a dreadful massacre took place. This can easily be done on a day trip from Hoi-An. The village is now preserved as a memorial with a museum. It’s very well-kept and peaceful. All I can say is that I found it a very moving experience and for me, well-worth the visit. Something I will remember for a long time. So after Hoi-An, it was time for a rest! We just wanted a lazy week on a beach and headed further south to the resort of Mui Ne, on the coast, just about 3 hours’ drive northwards from Ho Chi Minh City. The choice was either to fly down to Ho Chi Minh and take a transfer to Mui Ne or alternatively to travel by rail! We decided on the latter. We boarded our train at Da Nang for the 14 hour overnight journey to Binh Thuan. This is the closest railway station to Mui Ne, just a short taxi ride away. This journey is definitely more suited for the backpacker type of traveller! Booking a ‘soft-sleeper’ berth is as good as it gets – but very basic and not for the faint-hearted! Nevertheless, we arrived in Mui Ne and at our hotel, the Blue Ocean Resort. We were so pleased that we had decided to stay here, it was blissful! Everything was perfect for us. The hotel is on the best stretch of beach and the rooms and the quality of service was really good. Mui Ne is a smallish resort but with lots of shops, cafes and restaurants. Finally, although there are much cheaper air-conditioned tourist buses, we negotiated a very reasonable rate for a taxi to our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. There’s such a lot to see in HCM. It’s much more modern that Hanoi. You could almost imagine yourself in Bangkok or Hong Kong. There’s lots of hustle and bustle, markets, modern hotels and shopping malls. We visited the War Museum, where there are helicopters, tanks and airplanes on display which were captured in the war. It’s fascinating for those with an interest. The best part of our stay in HCM was a mad short tour of the city in a ‘cyclo’. This is a rickshaw-type vehicle with a man peddling a bicycle at the front! Quite a hair-raising experience amongst the teeming city traffic but lots of fun! Be sure to negotiate the price before getting in! Soon it was time to head for home and we had to say goodbye to Vietnam. This will definitely go down as one of the best holidays I’ve had and I’d love to return someday!
26 August 2011
I decided to try Goa for a winter holiday in March of 2011. Lots of my clients had returned with glowing reports so I thought I’d give it a try myself and it was wonderful! Although people do visit Goa right through the year, most UK tour operators only feature it in the winter months from November through to the end of March. The summer is ‘monsoon’ season so it’s likely to be hot and humid with lots of rain! We arrived at Goa’s Dabolim airport quite late at night and the transfer to our chosen resort, Candolim took just over an hour. Goa has two distinct areas, north and south. In the middle you have the State Capital city of Panjim. Generally speaking, the northern resorts, which include Candolim, Calangute, Baga and Anjuna are busier. In these resorts you’ll find lots of shops, restaurants and especially in Baga, nightclubs. In the south, you have resorts such as Cavelossim, Varca and Benaulim. These resorts are perfect for those who like a quiet, restful holiday with nothing to do but laze on a perfect tropical beach! There’s a wide range of hotels in most of the resorts. Everything from the one star ‘backpacker’ hostels to the five star ultra-luxury properties. We were fortunate enough to stay at the Taj Fort Aguada Hotel, which is really beautiful and set in its own gardens with a whole host of facilities. We booked the half board option and although the food was extremely good, I think I would just take bed and breakfast next time. There is such a variety of places to eat in the northern resorts. You obviously have excellent restaurants which feature local cuisine but you can also eat European and Chinese, as well as fast food outlets such as Pizza Hut! Up to the end of 1961, Goa was a Portugese enclave so everywhere you go, you will see lots of Mediterranean influences in the architecture. We spent a day at Old Goa, close to Panjim. This is a very spiritual place for both Hindus and Christians. Here you have world heritage monuments such as Bom Jesus which houses the body of St Francis Xavier in a tomb of exquisite Goan and Italian workmanship, Se Cathedral, St Francis of Assisi, St Cajetan, the Christian Art Museum and the Tower of St Augustine. Getting around Goa is easy and cheap. Most of the local taxi drivers will offer to take you on full and half day tours at a very reasonable price. We had no problem with any of the drivers and found them friendly and courteous. Obviously it’s best to use your own judgment and a spot of price haggling doesn’t hurt! The city of Panjim is definitely worth at least a half day visit. It’s very easy to get around and there’s lots of hustle and bustle. The beautiful Immaculate Conception Church is a major attraction in the city and should definitely be seen. On the Wednesday of our second week, we decided to go to the Anjuna ‘Hippy’ Flea Market. This is something not to be missed. The origins of the Flea market are dedicated to the Hippies who usually frequented the beach from the early 1960’s along with their craze for trance music. They usually partied the whole night at Anjuna and danced and listened to music. The trend of the flea market came into existence ever since the Hippies started selling second hand goods in the hope of buying new articles. We really enjoyed our day at Anjuna. It’s a very colourful and interesting day excursion. We loved our time in Goa. It seemed to have something for everyone and I can thoroughly recommend it. There are so many different options with regard to resorts, hotels and board arrangements. It’s important to make the right choice as everyone has different requirements. You can’t beat first-hand knowledge and Goa is another destination I can give my clients the best my possible advice on!
27 July 2011
Costa Rica has some beautiful beaches with five star hotels but this amazing little country has so much more to offer. Considered one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, Costa Rica is divided in 20 natural parks, 8 biological reserves, and a series of protected areas that captivate ecotourism lovers. The variety of activities includes horseback riding, hiking mountainous paths in the cloud forests, and guided bird-watching tours. We arrived at bustling San Jose airport and took a short taxi ride to a little café close by. This was the pick-up point for the minibus transfer I’d booked to Quepos, a sleepy little town on the Pacific coast. Although it’s possible to fly to Quepos from San Jose, only small light aircraft are used with a very limited baggage allowance. We decided that the bus was a more practical option. It was a good decision. The journey takes about three hours through some beautiful scenery, with a break. The minibuses are air conditioned and very comfortable. Quepos sits at the edge of Manuel Antonio national park. There are a few nice hotels in the town but we opted to stay in the park itself. I’d pre-booked a lovely little family run hotel, which was just perfect. Our room was simply furnished but clean and very comfortable. They had a small pool and an open air breakfast area. It was lovely to sit there watching the exotically coloured birds in the trees and one morning we even saw a sloth lazing in a tree just above us! Most mornings, a family of small monkeys would arrive and sit and wait for us to feed them bananas. They seemed almost tame and would gently take the piece of banana from your hand. It was such a magical experience. The beach is lovely in the park. It’s really not ‘touristy’ at all, except for locals. Along the front, there are quite a few shops selling the usual beach bric a brac and a couple of bars and restaurants. Manuel Antonio is the home of sloths, iguanas, the rare and adorable squirrel monkeys and millions of colourful little crabs. And the trail that winds around Punta Catedral affords some spectacular views. On day ten, our Interbus transfer picked us up punctually in the morning from our hotel to take us back to San Jose. We had decided to spend the last few days of our holiday here and I’d booked a lovely little resort hotel just on the edge of the city but only a short taxi ride to the centre. San Jose is a typical Latin American city. It would be hard to describe it as a beautiful city but it is vibrant and colourful with lots of markets, shops and cafes. You have to try one of the many coffee houses who serve the most delicious local blends. It’s a good base for excursions into the Central Area. We made friends with a local taxi driver, Miguel, who was attached to the hotel. He took us on a day trip to Mount Irazu, which was quite exciting as I’d never been up an active volcano before! It’s the tallest volcano in the country, reaching upwards of 11,260 ft (3,432 m), and has several active craters. Unfortunately, it was quite cloudy at the top and you couldn’t see down into the crater but I can still say I stood at the edge of it! We also visited the town of Cartago, close by. Here is the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles. The massive grey and white Byzantine church is home to Black Madonna (La Negrita), Costa Rica’s patron saint, who is honoured by a stunning spiritual procession each August. Pilgrims from all over Central America visit this sacred site to pay homage and receive La Negrita’s miraculous healing powers. Soon it was time to fly home. This was definitely one of the nicest holidays I’ve had. Costa Rica is definitely a destination I will be able to recommend. It’s so important to plan your trip properly beforehand to get the best out of it. It’s so easy to miss so much if you don’t. I’m always happy to talk to my clients about the places I’ve personally visited. I want them to have a great holiday and I can give lots of information and tips. I love my job and I want my clients to return to me. If they’re happy, so am I!
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